Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara was just three seconds short of another stage victory in Thursday's Tour de France time trial around the French city of Annecy.This content was published on July 23, 2009 - 20:13
He was beaten by the overall leader of this year's cycle race, Alberto Contador of Spain, who finished the 40.5 kilometre course in 48 minutes 31 seconds. Third place went to Mikhail Ignatiev of Russia.
Cancellara, the 28-year-old Swiss Olympic time-trial champion from Bern, made a good start to this year's event, gaining the yellow jersey after posting the fastest time in the prologue to the race. He had kept it throughout the first six stages, which were relatively flat.
After Thursday's 18th stage, Contador leads the overall standings with a time of 73h 15' 39". In second place is Andy Schleck of Luxembourg (04' 11" behind) and Lance Armstrong of the United States is third (05' 25" behind).
The Tour de France ends in Paris on Sunday after covering a distance of 3,500 km.
swissinfo.ch and agencies
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